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News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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Afghanistan 9, Us 9, Boehner 7, Washington 6, John Boehner 5, Citi 5, Russia 5, Alabama 3, North America 3, Adam Lanza 3, Doma 3, Pete Williams 3, Nancy Lanza 3, Rick Newman 2, Tamiflu 2, Ellison 2, Kristen Welker 2, Gabby Giffords 2, Google 2, Green Giant 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    December 24, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. great to have you with me today. topping the agenda on msnbc, not a creature was stirring on capitol hill. lawmakers go home for cliff-mas, but will they be able to find a short-term deal under the tree? plus, the nra not backing off its so-called solution to school gun violence. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed securing our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. >> that's the wrong debate to have if you want to talk about protecting our children. >> but, first, don't go looking up the chimney for a deal on the fiscal cliff. there are just eight days, that's it, until the deadline to reach a deal, and there was little progress as lawmakers left town for the holiday. before the president took off for his hawaiian vacation with his family on friday, he pressured kfshs to pass a smaller deal, to delay those automatic spending cuts and to extend tax cuts for all except for the wealthiest of americans.
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now, while senators on both sides of the aisle, they spoke in support of at least a smaller deal on sunday. joe lieberman seemed to have less hope. >> it's the first time that i feel that it's more likely that we will go over the cliff than not, and that if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time. maybe ever in american history because of the impact it will have on almost every american. >> kristen welker is nbc's white house correspondent, also traveling with the president in honolulu. kristen, explain to all of us because it appears the lights are out in washington d.c. the president is in hawaii. everyone is home. with all the sides saying that they expect to go over the cliff, it looks pretty likely that that might just happen. >> well, i certainly think that concern is growing. that that's a real possibility at this point. at the same time, thomas, i think there's still so much
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pressure on all sides so get something done because as he heard joe lieberman said, the consequences would be huge. the economy could potentially slip back into recession. the white house has described this as a working vacation for president obama, but the reality is that negotiations are largely deadlocked on all sides. there have been a few talks going on at the staff level, but the real bulk of this work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington later this week after the christmas holiday and resume manageses. that's when we're going to see the focus really shift away from the house and on to the senate. of course, speaker boehner tried to get his plan b, alternative bill through the house. republicans rejected that, couldn't get enough votes for it. it was really a blow to speaker boehner. now we see the focus shift to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will try to hammer out a deal and by all accounts, it will be a smaller deal, thomas. >> nbc's kristen welker traveling with the president in hawaii. kristen, thanks so much. joining us to talk about the chances of reaching a deal, democratic congressman from
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minnesota, keith ellison. sir, it's good to have you here, and do you think, as you hear what kristen is reporting there, that it's -- that it's still optimism that this could get done by the end of the year, but slim. do you think that it could get done, and is it going to get gone because of the onus now being on the senate? >> i think that we will have a deal. of course, no one can guarantee that. the real question is will boehner put a deal on the floor that enough of us democrats can vote for? that's the real question. the fact is he can't even get enough republicans to vote for that tea party wish list he put on the floor last week. so what he needs to do is come to the other direction to pick up enough votes to get a deal. now, that's going to take some statesmanship and some courage, and we'll find out whether the speaker possesses that kind of statesmanship and courage. >> but that's what i say. is the onus more on the senate at this point? as you point out what john boehner is not able to even get
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enough of his own support within his own caucus to get plan b through, do you think that he has the staying power to pull something off, especially within the narrow window before 2013? >> you know, i think that a less ambitious deal does still have a good chance. i don't think the worst thing in the world is to go past the deadline, but i think it's bad. i think we have a responsibility to do everything we can to find a deal for the american people. i have to say if the only way to get a deal done is to make low income seniors pay for it, i think we're going to have a very difficult time getting a deal because at the end of the day the wealthiest americans have enjoyed record low tax rates for a number of years now, and now in order to do some -- make some progress on the budget, we're asking low income seniors to pay for it. that dog won't hunt. at the end of the day the
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question is going to be will boehner, will the house be able to vote on a deal that can garner enough democrat support there's no way to say that the onus is off the house on to the senate. it's on both. the bottom line is the american people need to speak up and say that, you know, the wealthiest have to help. we need a jobs component. we're not going make our seniors pay for this. and the military has to chip in. >> congressman, let's talk about that. you bring up seniors. you bring up our military, and you wrote an op ed on friday. republican representative mulvamey saying it should be part of a larger budget deal. and he said he would not vote on any plan that involves changing the cost of living adjustment for social security beneficiaries. if defense cuts are on the table, do you believe that entitlement savings should be as well as both sides are trying to say we want to reach the
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sensible center on this, but either side won't budge? >> well, you know, what you're saying sounds sensible, but it ultimately isn't. the reason why is because we're talking about seniors that live on $22,000 a year and are going to face a $650 cut by the time those seniors get 75 years old. you're saying the poorest of the poor, the most economically vulnerable people on fixed incomes have got to do -- get by with less when the military budget has literally doubled -- more than doubled since 2010. here's the thing. if i -- giving up your one coat if you only have one coat is nott the same as giving up one coat if you have ten coats, right? so what -- so the ekwifl ensy that people are trying to derive here just isn't there because low income seniors have been squeaking by for so -- with so little for so long. that's why we are sort of taking a tough position. that we're not going to make
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economically vulnerable people in america pay for the tax cuts over the last ten years. >> krooet ellison, happy holidays to you and yours. happy holidays. >> thank you. >> thank. for more on the fiscal cliff i'm joined by deputy political editor domminco. let's talk about what are the opings left on the table as we look at the narrow window that's left to get us to 2013 and what could get done. >> well, i think ultimately you've got a small deal, a big deal, or going over the cliff. there is some movement towards getting a small deal done. you hear that from congressman ellison. senate airdz on both sides tell me that that's possible. the 250,000 a year tax cut plus unemployment things and it maybe can kick the can down the road. that will have consequences for the president's agenda in the next year because he wants to get immigration reform done. he wants to get a lot of other
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things done that really get pushed down the road if fiscal stiff is still weighing on him. >> which side has negotiated in good faith more? the political reporting we've heard is that the president is still at the table. he is saying let's get something done. john boehner is at the table saying he wants to get something done, but -- i think the white house says how is he going to pass plan a or something we negotiated on that we thought we were close on? as congressman ellison said, john boehner has a decision to make. does he bring something to the floor that was similar to that plan a, that big deal that him and the president had forged, but then probably not get a majority of his conference and potentially cost him his speakership. now, will he lose his speakership? it's something that we're sort of skeptical of because the only person we really think could possiblyover take john boehner is a paul ryan, and really he
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hasn't expressed interest. >> going on to say we have a republican party today willing to eliminate any prospect for decent future for anyone including itself. if it cannot abe future that is 100% in accordance with its core beliefs and principles that's not governing. that's lobbing hand grenades. if you are only stabbeding on principle to appear taller, then you appear smaller, and the gop is shrinking daily before our eyes. if leadership casting vision, calling all your people to rise up, and we just watched what happened with lan b and speaker boehner trying to call his people to rise up, and you say his leadership really not in question unless paul ryan really wants it. do you think that people having these types of perspectives, like a mark mckinnan, that doesn't really ring true coming into the new year for speaker boehner. >> look, the problem for republicans and for moderate republicans like mark mckinnan
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is most of the people in the house are not of the mark mckinnan stripe. these are people who are from districts where they've won with 60% of the vote or more. the majority of them. the majority of their constituents don't want them to compromise on things that they find important like taxes. why someone like mitt romney winds up getting pulled down because of the gop brand, but for these members of congress? they're not at all concerned about the republican image nationally. their concern is about getting reelected. >> you bring up mitt romney getting pulled down by the gop brand. it could be the gop brand is being pulled down by mitt romney, or at least tag romney and what he said about he's recent comments. if we're talking about hand bren grenades, listen to this. he wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life. had he no desire to run. if key have found someone else to take his place, he would have been ecstatic to step aside.
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um, what are people supposed to make of that? especially for the millions of americans and those big donor that is came out in support of mitt romney and his candidacy and tag romney being a big advisor to that campaign itself, but now, eh, he didn't really want it. he didn't care. >> mitt romney was plotting his run for the presidency for at least seven years. i mean, you could go back even further if you look back at how he governed in massachusetts thinking getting health care through would be something that would help him vault to a national stage. you know, all of his positioning on the issues was all designed to get through a republican primary. he didn't want it, he could have stepped aside. there wasn't a whole, you know, confluence of people saying mitt romney -- they felt like he was somebody who could help the economy and was called to do this.
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>> two firefighters have been shot and killed as they respond to that fire. we have a new update on the gunmen for you. plus, the head of the nra standing by his comments saying americans think it's crazy not to put armed guards in school. will we see any new legislation in the new year? we'll talk about that straight ahead. >> stationed in afghanistan with the third first support battalion. i auto would like to send a shout-out to my wife, mom, brother, sister, nieces and nephews. go who dat. that's where i'm from, baby. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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in webster new york police say four firefighters were entrapped and shot while responding to the scene of that multi-home blaze. two are confirmed to be dead. two others are now hospitalized. the shooter is also dead at the scene, but we are unable to get to him due to that fire. a short time ago mayor andrew cuomo issued the following statement saying, we as the community of new york mourn their loss. now two more families must spend the holidays without their family. on behalf of all new yorkers, i offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those killed today and prayer for the recovery of the injured. we are also following another developing story. this one coming to us out of southern california. police have evacuated a wall mart in merino valley after shoppers reported seeing a man carrying an assault rifle or a shotgun. police are still looking for the suspect who they say asked to speak to the manager. authorities do not know if the
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gun was real or some type of replica or a toy. my partner with him on new gun legislation. he got a big wake-up call this weekend. the ceo of the national rifle association refusing to support any new gun laws. >> senator feinstein's bill to -- is that going to pass? >> i think that's a phony piece of legislation, and i do not believe it will pass for this reason. it's all built on lies that have been found out. everything i hear -- i mean, my gosh. people in the media, i revere their communication skills, but they have an obligation to be factual, to be truthful, and everything that these politicians are saying about that is not true. >> pete williams is nbc's justice correspondent. pete, after the news conference on friday, we have that interview from wane la pierre sitting down with david gregory over the weekend. the interview really came as no surprise after what we witnessed
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on friday. >> it believes there are many -- sfwlo did he say, thomas, they want to encourage schools to -- the nra is willing to help train people, whether it's policemen or volunteers, whatever local school districts want to do -- >> it's gnting to satisfy the gun restrictions in the next senate. >> asa hutchinson, is now helming a model shield program that the nra is sponsoring to
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look into. how quick of a timeline or what is the timeline for the work that they're doing? >> well, it's going to depend on the amount of money that local school districts can spend to hire these people. what the nra says is we've been training people in firearm safety for years. we are willing to help train armed security people if the school districts can come up with the money. they've trained about 10,000 of these people already, so there are other organizations. >> pete williams, thank you, sir. good to see you. >> i want to bring in now david winston, advisor to speaker john boehner, gop stat gist. it's good to is have you here.
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>> the assault ban does it get before and it won't work in the future. >> we hear that and we know the position of the nra. is any logical conversation about trying to move forward on legislation kind of doomed out of the gate? >> if we actually allow ours to think that even the suggestion of the nra about arming guards in schools is something to be taken seriously. i hear pete williams talking about it as if it's even something that could be thinkable. look, just this morning you are reporting these firefighters getting shot. are we going to arm every fire station, every crew that goes out? are they going to have armed guards for those firefighters? how about in wal-marts? are we going to have every single place of business where there's a shooting or potential shooting, are each one of those going to be armed? how about fort hood and places of worship? i mean, this is an idiotic
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discussion to be having -- to be taking seriously the suggestion about school shootings. look, of course if we took ammo out of the hands of people there will be less gun violence, and i would just say republicans defer to the military on everything having to do with war, right? bring in people from the police forces and ask them what they think. my guess is you would be hard pressed to find anybody who thinks it's a legitimate thing to have a common citizen have these assault weapons. >> david, as you listen to richard there and there are those in the country, those that believe in the right to the second amendment, supporters of the second amendment who think there can't be anything done that would completely eliminate this school violence in our country, but given the fact that we're watching speaker boehner go through what is he going through on the fiscal cliff, would it be your advice to him to try to draft and bring some sort of legislation to the floor that was a bipartisan effort to discuss this? >> well, i mean, i think there's a bigger question to be
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answered, first, and, i mean, part of the dynamic -- whenever you have something like this occur, it's just so horrific, and it sort of shocks the country. what you unfortunately get sometimes is people pointing at each other to blame each other. it's the right blaming the left for the cultural dynamic, and it's the left blaming the right because of allowing guns to sort of be on the street and so have you this dynamic. ultimately the problem is how do we solve this problem, and i think the dynamic here is also we have to address a really serious problem. that is what do we do with people who are clearly mentally ill that we are aware of that are mentally ill, and you saw this happen with gabby giffords and in terms of columbine. obviously, this incident as well. virginia tech. what do you do when you recognize someone that's got a mental illness problem that could be a threat, and how do we as a society handle that? i would suggest to you, that's the thing that's emerging out of that and what we need to do is figure out that broad solution not necessarily jump to the solutions that we're comfortable with. >> the nra lobbied against giving any kind of state
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database in place that would have given a red flag that loughner was amassing that type of weapononry in arizona to assassinate gabby giffords and then when we talk about adam lanza, i don't know if we would even be having this story, gentlemen, this big conversation, if adam lanza had just shot and killed nancy lanza, and that brings us to the question of whether or not we can allow someone who is deemed to be sane like nancy lanza to have a wealth of money at her disposal, to go out and be a begun enthusiast, to teach her kids how to shoot, but adam lanza didn't go out and buy a gun on his own. he just had access to it. what are we supposed to do in this country that supports the second amendment, but we can't police everyone's house where we think there might be someone on the edge of having a mental break? >> so we don't see this kind of gun violence in japan where video games run amok. we don't see this in other western civilized countries where the instance of mental illness seems to be about what
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in this the united states. there's one variable here, which is the prevalence of guns and the ability of -- now, somebody like nancy lanza, who seemingly had no evidence of mental illness and nothing prohibited her from getting it. could we require locks? there are -- to throw up our hands and say, well, we'll never prevent everything is to suggest somehow that we're helpless against do anything, and i think that's where this president -- even if he fails, thomas, even if he doesn't get anything across the goalline, he knows that health care started thanks to bill clinton. he pushed it over. if he pushes gun control in some fashion on assault weapons and doesn't get it done, believe me, that will be a positive part of his legacy whether he succeeds or not. >> last word to you. >> i mean, we have those laws in existence. i would suggest to you part of going to these kind of solutions, it creates a false security. we have now solved the problem. no, we haven't. what we really need to address is, in fact, what do we do with people who we think are threats and have mental illness
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problems, and how do we do that? i mean, in virginia tech there was a clear situation, and we had certain laws in place, privacy laws, that don't allow parents to be able to effectively engage to sort of help in this situation. >> and there were armed guards on campus in virginia tech, just like there were armed guards in columbine. >> i'm not arguing that point. i'm saying how do we get to the solution, and i think just jumping to conclusions here, i think we need a thoughtful process to really resolve this because this was a horrific incident that i think everyone would agree has not and we want to not happen again. >> david winston, thank you for your time today. i appreciate it. >> pleasure. >> coming up next, we're going to get a live report from one of the nation's busiest airports as a big storm threatens to affect holiday travel across the country. plus, the disconnect between states and the federal government when it comes to marriage equality and the supreme court battle that lies ahead in the new year.
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a
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the south, the midwest expected to get hit by the end of the week. dave gutierrez joins us live from heartsfield jackson -- >> hi, thomas. yeah, it was a very wet morning. the rain seems to have tapered off. travellers moving pretty well here. we've had reports of minor delays. 15 to 30 minutes because of traffic volume here in the atlanta area. travellers, though, in other parts of the country are doing very well. but travellers need to be paying attention to this winter storm that's moving through much of the country, threatening to dump snow in oklahoma tonight into tomorrow, and southeast weather in the southeast part of the country on christmas day. 93 million americans expected to travel over the next few days.
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will need to be paying attention. we are getting word that miami international airport officials confirm that a suspicious package has caused several checkpoints there to be cordoned off while police investigate, but, again, even mia is not reporting any delays at this time. thomas, back to you. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez reporting. over the next few weeks president obama will decide how many troops to withdraw from afghanistan next year. coming up next, colonel jack jacobs talks about the global hot spots on president obama's agenda. >> merry christmas and a happy new year. irping ]hon
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insiders in afghanistan and female afghan police officer opened fire on a u.s. civilian in gaza. police headquarters in kabul. the suspect is in custody. overall 61 american and coalition members have been killed by squalled green on blue attacks, but this is the first one we've seen since november. now, in the coming weeks president obama will decide on how many troops to bring home from afghanistan. they've called on the president to accelerate and hamid karzai has suggested he supports a more rapid exit. afghanistan is just one of the foreign policy hurdles facing the president in his second term. here to break down all of those is retired army colonel and medal of honor recipient jack jacobs. is he also an msnbc military analyst and the author of basic surviving boot camp and basic training. jack, it's good to see you here, and as we talk about what we're watching in afghanistan, based on this recent news, obviously this has to be a factor in what
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the president and the advisors, his generals, tell him about the withdrawal. what does if mean for the contemplation of that early withdrawal from afghanistan? >> well, the irony is that as we reduce combat troops, incidents like this, that will continue in any case, then become more prominent, but no matter how many combat troops we actually withdraw from afghanistan, in the end the president is going to decide to leave a certain number of advisors there for a certain period of time and these attacks, these green on blue attacks are going to continue, and they're going to become more prominent as we withdraw american forces. fwloo what does it mean for hamid karzai to -- >> he has been talking about that for a long time. he would love to see the americans leave as soon as possible, except insofar as they help advise the police, which need shoring up, and they provide a conduit for american dollars. at the end of the day karzai would like to see all american troops leave, but not at the cost of receiving no american
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aid. he realizes that no american troops of any kind, no american aid, he doesn't want that. >> speaking of american aid, egypt that gets billions of dollars froo our country, is going to announce the results of its constitutional referendum vote. early indications are that it passed over the opposition and is now saying that they suspect fraud in this. we have -- the reality is egypt was instrumental in helping to diffuse the situation most recently between palestine and israel. so where are they in the spectrum of politics of the president's agenda moving into the new year? >> well, the expectation, of course, the hope -- not the expectation -- is that the egyptian government will continue the policy of trying to keep a reign on terrorism and be able to maintain some modicum of peace in the middle east, but the reality is that's not going to happen. the american government perceives that it's possible we may be able to entice the morsi
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government, the new government, whatever it happens to be, into continuing a policy of being an assistant to peace in the middle east rather than being obstructionist and we'll do that by giving them $2 billion to $3 billion in assistance. a lot of that is going to take the form of military aid. there are fairly close relationships between the american military and the egyptian military. we are hoping that that will survive this constitution. >> last but not least, over the weekend on subpoenaed, a syrian jet bombing a bakery killing dozens of people after waiting in line just to get bread. the frez and the u.n. has still not been able to remove president bashir al assad after months and months of in-country conflict there. what can the president do. not only from a standpoint of the white house, but from an international coalition to look at getting bashir al assad out? >> i mean, we've been working on it for quite some time. we didn't want to get militarily involved. we've seen what happens when we do get militarily involved.
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we don't like the results. take a look at libya. take a look at egypt, for example. so though we think -- we know we're on the side of right. there's one big ondestruction, and that is russia. russia is a series of clients of russia's, putin has said, you guys, you americans, you can't be sank moneyus about how people live their lives. you want everybody to be like the united states. okay. you saw what happens when you try to foment democracy in places that aren't ready for it. we're here to tell you that if you try to upend assad, even if he is going to ethwe'll go out of business -- >> on his own accord. >> on his own, if you try to do that, you won't like the result, and we are reluktant to go do something that's not going to have a positive effect. we're listening to what putin said. he makes some sense for once. >> colonel jab jacobs. jack, as always, good to see you, sir. >> thanks for having me on the program. >> starting at midnight on saturday, gay and lesbian couple
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wills faebl be able to legally get married in this country. maine becoming one of nine states to legalize marriage equality when voters approved a ballot initiative in november, but the state by state legislation of same-sex unions may soon be turned upside down by the supreme court, which recently took up two cases that could have a profound effect on how the federal government recognizes those marriages. joining me now is alta, president of the american academy of matrimonial lawyers. marriage equality is a reality now for americans in nine states. also in the district of columbia. however, the other reality is 31 states have amended their constitutions to prohibit same-sex marriage, and over the summer it was north carolina becoming the most recent example of that. so what are the legal implications of having different states with different laws and how likely is it that the supreme court is going to make a broad ruling on the two federal cases that it will consider? >> okay. i think it's -- first of all, thank you for having me here. i think it's fairly likely that the supreme court will rule
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because there is huge impact on gay couples because of the federal defense of marriage act that was enacted in 1996. the defense of marriage act defines marriage as between -- being between a man and a woman. the result of it is that over 1,000 federal laws are not available to same-sex couples. the result of this is that it is an impact from state to state as gu from, say, new york or maine that's about to adopt same-sex marriage to states like wisconsin, which is outlawed it. may not recognize the rights of same-sex couples that would be available to them in the states that granted them the right to marry. >> so when we talk about the supreme court, the cases that they have chosen to take on, one which is doma, the other is prop 8, which deals specifically with california, do you think that
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the supreme court is more likely to come back with a definitive ruling on doma because it is a federal case as opposed to prop 8, which has been brought up in buoyed through the state system. people sfloo people who want to get married, who are same-sex couples after the affect of p p prop, can't do so, but people who manage to squeeze into that window can, so there's a denial of equal protection, which seems to be a very profound issue for same-sex couples, and i think for the supreme court i think they're going to have a tough struggle with that one. the doma issue, i think, is more widespread. particularly the case that the
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supreme court has taken, the impact is that the widow in that case will pay some $300,000 in estate taxes that she would not have otherwise paid if she was part of a heterosexual couple, so it's a huge impact, and i think that the supreme court is likely to rule, but it's going to be very, very close ruling at that. >> the supreme court is expected to come back in early summer with their thoughts on both. thank you so much. i appreciate your time. >> all right. thank you for having me. >> absolutely. we're going to be right back with a look at how the fiscal stalemate in washington is affecting wall street, but, first, this. >> my name is jeremiah. i'm here in afghanistan. i want to wish you a merry christmas and happy new year to my friends and family back at home. especially my family. my dog and my brother. i'll see you guys soon. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind.
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just so many horz left for last minute shop toerz pick up the last minute gives. gift giving procrastinators are out in droves scrambling to find those late last minute bargains. c nbsz's jane wells is live for us from glendale, california. jane, what kind of traffic have we been seeing in stores today? i know it's still early out there. >> well, yeah, but you know, it's not that early. it is christmas eve, and most people are off. i'm here at the galleria, one of the largest malls in l.a. what the mall is telling us is that going into this final stretch people are arriving later and they are staying later, but the fear is that this lull that has been happening generally after black friday or christmas eve has gotten longer and longer and that people may not just be procrastinating, but they're not spending as much. richard jafy says we'll have to see what happens today. >> we've seen this trend for the last 20 years that the consumer procrastinates, waits for better pricing, and then is rewarded
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for waiting, finds greater discounts that last ten days or two weeks, and shops with a real fever. >> what we're hearing is people are more interested in price hand in merchandise, and there's only one company that william blair, an analyst, is saying is really doing well on price, and that is amazon. however, we have video of amazon hires tens of thousands of temporary workers every year, and we visited some that were camping outside reno a couple of weeks ago. we showed you -- you can see them leaving work there. there's a shift change. those workers, those temporary workers last day was yesterday. they are gone. if you order something on-line today from amazon, you are probably not going to get it in time unless it's a gift card, and that will be the story wednesday, december 26th, gift cards. back to you. >> gift cards are the way to go for those last minute people out there that can't get something tangible in their hands. jane, thanks so much. happy holidays to you and yours. well, concerns over the fiscal cliff appear to be weighing on shoppers around the country. consumer confidence hit a
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five-month low. bloomberg reporting that on-line sales -- that compared with 16% this time last year. i'm joined now by rick newman, chief business krbt for u.s. news and world report. rick, it's good to have you here. as we talk did bsh we've been talking about the stalemate for weeks now about the fiscal cliff in washington d.c. how many affect does that really have on consumers during the holiday season? >> i'm surprised it hasn't had more of an affect. we're really only starting to see it seep into consumer thinking, i think, in the last few days, and to hear that washington has basically left town. it looks very dire for some kind of big deal, and, yet, holiday spending seems to be holding up so far. i mean, anecdotally is t seems to be holding up anyway. we won't know for sure until after the holidays. they seem to be saying, yeah, we know there's some problem in washington, but it's almost as if they're tuning it out and saying we're just going to get along with our holiday. >> as we wait to find the final analysis of what this holiday season really meant, we can talk about the marketses and what we're witnessing there because
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they were down on friday tumbling about 1% after the republican plan b failed to really get any liftoff and get off the ground. as you say, washington basically shutting down for the holiday. are we many for some truly volatile days? for the first quarter of the new year. >> it's going to be bumpy for sure until anybody really knows what's going to happen out of washington. however, you could make the case that it's surprising stocks didn't fall more. again, what we've -- we've seen this before and other points where there seems to be political impasse. stocks fell 7% to 9% when they voted down the tarp ledges laying the first time. we're not at that sort of emergency or crisis moment yet. the stock market is really sort of binary right now. a lot of investors think if we can just get over, get past the fiscal cliff, we're going to have a pretty good year in 2013. people are saying, you know, big companies are in good shape. we're just kind of waiting for this economy to pick up steam. the housing markets is now -- has now turned around. consumers have paid down debt. there are a lot of things that are sort of going the right way, except for one thing.
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we need washington to solve this problem. >> again, it's not going to be a big deal within the time that's gin left. what can americans expect come payday in the new year? the affect that's going to be in their paycheck for tax reasons. >> we all know if there's not -- sthe they could come up with a short-term deal that really just pushes the whole thing off. it says this deadline is -- we're going to change the deadline. they can do that. i mean, whether they're going to do that or not, nobody is quite sure, but it does sound like the door is open for congress to come back in. it may not hit on january 1st the way people think, but this whole thing could unravel, you know, and this could be a temporary tax hike, and then we have to figure out how to make it retroactive, which is going to get very messy if that's what happens. >> rick newman, great to see you. thanks. appreciate it. christmas is, of course, a big celebration for catholics all over the world, and tonight pope benedict xvi will lead midnight mass at the vatican. prior to that vigil the pontiff extended a holiday greeting to thousands who gathered in st. peters square to see him.
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santa claus is coming to town, and it's not just norad. google is now competing with the military tracking st. nick on their own site. with so many kids and so little time, that's no easy feat, and it kind of makes you wonder what could santa do differently to make his trip go faster? >> i don't think there's anything santa could do differently. >> a jet praen. >> do you think a jet plane could make it around the world in one night? answer me that question. >> did you see that kid's bed head all messed up there in the back? he is working major bed head.
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general andre vienne who joins from yous norad. it's great to have you with us, and let's talk about this because norad is now in competition with google. you guys used to be a partner. how is that affecting your tracking capabilities this year? >> i would say it's not affecting our tracking, but i would like to be -- to change what you just said. we're not in competition with anyone. our role and we've been doing that for more than 50 years, is to track santa and make sure that he has a safe and secure journey throughout the world and throughout north america in particular. >> sir, you do point out you have been tracking santa since the 1950s. one thing in modern daytime that you guys are doing now is you're on twitter. what's the response been to social media to the tracking of santa claus? >> well, right now on twitter we have over 110,000 people following santa, and on facebook we have over a million people
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following santa. since this morning we've been open since 6:00 eastern time, and as you can see behind me, there's a room, and there's many rooms in our norad track operation center. we've fielded more than 24,000 phone calls, and we are on track to be beat the record of last year where we have received over 102 phone calls. we're pretty busy, but we're very excited to be. >> it sounds very busy there. last but not least, where is santa right now in his travels, and what is his estimated time to basically be in north america area? >> well, right now we're tracking santa over russia, and as you know, he is going to be traveling over russia, and then he is going to go over, you know, the middle east, africa, europe, and then he is going to come to north america, follow-up to south america. we expect santa based on our experience of tracking him and obviously we don't control where he goes, but we just know that he likes to stop between country 9:00 and midnight at every
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home -- >> that's the best time. all the kids need to be in bed before 9:00 p.m. tonight, so parents mark your clocks. major general, thank you for taking time out for us. we appreciate it. >> all right, thomas. my pleasure. merry christmas to you and your team there. >> thank you so much. back at you. that's going to wrap things up for me this hour. thanks so much. in the next hour i'm going to have a chance to speak with democratic congresswoman karen bass. is she hopeful that a fiscal cliff deal will be struck before the new year? (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states.
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the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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